Insiders close to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science have allegedly told a source close to the Chicago Sun Times that Oprah Winfrey is looking like she is the number one choice to host the Oscars in February of 2012. Not only that, but considering Winfrey’s close ties with the network that broadcasts the awards every year, ABC, if she wanted to do it, she could, the source states. Most ABC markets aired the Oprah Winfrey Show for much of its 25 seasons. In addition, Winfrey has done a lot of primetime gigs with the network in years past. A source that talked with the Sun Times reports that Winfrey’s popularity could give the show a ratings boost, as last year’s show hosted by Anne Hathaway and James Franco fell about 10% in the ratings.
However, the president of the Academy, Tom Sherak, has denied the reports when he talked with the Hollywood Reporter. He stated that he doesn’t know where the story came from. “The camera loves Oprah. Oprah’s a genius. But it’s not true,” he said. In addition, he stated that a host can’t be chosen without a producer being chosen first, and the Oscars have not chosen one yet. In a statement to Access Hollywood, he said that “every year there’s great interest and excitement about who will host the Oscars. With that, various rumors begin to take on a life of their own.”